Australia gets its first Autograph Collection venue – and there’s lots to like

Good coffee in-house? There’s a coffee machine within arm’s reach of the bed if you’re a caffeine hound in need of a fix. Alternatively, Melbourne brew St Ali is available with the breakfast buffet served at Sorolla.

Sorolla restaurant is run by Ryan Flaherty, who used to work at Spain’s El Bulli restaurant.  

My room: A 28-square-metre Premium Guest room on the 18th floor, complete with a king-size bed, 140cm LED TV (featuring Chromecast), complimentary Wi-Fi, a coffee pod machine, moveable work/sitting table, and mini fridge. Beauty products were by Korres and dressing gowns were provided. The room included rubbish and recycling bins. You wouldn’t want to work in there for eight hours straight, but the spacious room was more than comfortable. The view, which was particularly appealing at night, looked across to Melbourne’s city centre. Check-in is from 3pm and check-out at 11am.

Triana Bar has stunning views and a long freestanding bar.  

What’s on offer in the neighbourhood? Lin-Manuel Miranda’s awarding-winning musical Hamilton is playing at Her Majesty’s Theatre on Exhibition Street until September 18. Crown Melbourne and Marvel Stadium are also readily accessible. This part of Southbank is not exactly a nightlife hotspot. But the hotel is within walking distance of several attractive eateries. They include Half Acre, Foxtrot, and Jimmy the Saint; the Middle Eastern breakfast is a winner at the latter.

How does the pricing compare? Rooms range from $230 a night for an entry-level Deluxe Guest Room, to Signature Suite rooms from $580. The average nightly rate for comparable “luxury and upper upscale” hotels in the Melbourne city area is $270, according to STR property data.

In short, how excited should I be about this hotel? This is a comfortable, functional hotel that’s convenient to the CBD. It is ideal for short business trips or a Melbourne mini-break. The staff are warm, attentive and eager to make your stay as smooth as possible. The interior’s relaxing neutral palette and soft lighting put you right at ease. Equipped with a 24-hour fitness centre, that infinity pool and a lush cocktail bar, the hotel caters to both your early morning exercise routine and post-work wind-down.

The writer stayed as a guest of AC Hotel Melbourne Southbank.

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